How to Maintain a Happy Heart After Age 50

Heart health should always be a present health concern for men and women of all ages, but after 50 our health concerns should shift considerably to this focus. People over 50 tend to undertake less physical activity, which can affect the heart’s strength and durability. Like all other muscles, the heart is strengthened with use and weakened by inactivity. So while exercise may seem more intimidating or impractical, routine physical activity is still possible and necessary for those over 50. Exercise routines can be developed and modified by physicians and personal trainers who can account for the changes in aged bodies to ensure that no routine will be prove dangerous or over strenuous.

Routine exercise will not only strengthen the heart, but also lessen its workload: along with a lower amount of body fat comes a lower weight. Exercise efforts to curb and maintain weight can also prove to be long term, as one’s metabolism will stay elevated for up to 12 hours after exercise, ensuring that fat and calories continue to be burned. These efforts are more important to people over 50, as the body’s ability to burn excess calories decreases with muscle loss, which happens to be a natural occurrence with age.

Heart driven exercises are those that raise the heartbeat and breathing rates, typically for a duration of 15 to 30 minutes, though this number can be altered according to individual ability and need. Yet there is no need to buy a gym membership- brisk walking, swimming, and even cycling are exercises that can suffice. Moderate sports including handball, basketball, and tennis are also capable of providing a sufficient level of activity. Regardless of activity choice, it is ideal to incorporate some extent of exercise into one’s routine at least 3 days a week.

The best way to ensure heart health is to speak to a health professional who can help you generate a suitable physical activity program that will meet your individual needs.

Need help with a safe and effective exercise routine?  Check in with Dr. Attilio Pensavalle at OrthoBalance Physical Therapy for an eval and suggestions in keeping your heart healthy.